Uber's (UBER) stock may be trading at close to an all-time low, but its CEO is not fretting. Dara Khosrowshahi said Wednesday morning that the market has changed what it's rewarding over the past two years, but he's confident that the ride-hailing giant will be able to adjust and eventually thrive again.
"There has been a fundamental re-valuation of revenue growth and the value of profits in an increasingly uncertain world," Khosrowshahi said at the New York Times' Dealbook conference in New York City. "And I think the appetite for the unknown and for high risk in the public markets has just gone down and that has consequences."
Uber's stock has gotten pummeled this week, falling close to 10% on Tuesday following a mixed Q3 earnings report. And it fell another 5% on Wednesday as the lock-up period following its IPO for employees and insiders expired, potentially flooding the market with new shares.
Khosrowshahi acknowledged on Wednesday that the market is betting against Uber, but said he's OK with that, given the financial resources and opportunity it has ahead of it.
"In this environment, we are advantaged against our competition, and at the same time...the hurdle for success and the demands of the market are higher," Khosrowshahi said. "One of [these things] is great, one of them is tough, but I think it's going to force us to perform."
Khosrowshahi also argued that Uber's ridesharing business will get it to profitability, disputing that it needs another high-margin business like Amazon (AMZN) needed AWS to achieve this goal.
"Our [core] rideshare business is our AWS," Khosrowshahi argued. "In our rideshare business in the past two quarters, 80% of our revenue growth ran through into EBITDA. So when I look at the next two years, I'll do $8 billion in revenue growth and I need about $3 billion of that to drop to the bottom line [for profitability], which is about 38% flow through. And I just demonstrated 80% flow through in two quarters. So you actually have to do the math and the math works."
Khosrowshahi also said that self-driving vehicles won't be an immediate development that would reduce Uber's costs, but that in the longer term of around 7 to 10 years, it would be an important element of its strategy and financial structure.